Best Practices, Committed People and Enthusiasm Make for a Rousing YA Conference
In February, I flew from the Congregations and Beyond consultation in Florida to Colorado for a day long conference on young adult ministry. A big snow storm prevented many flights from landing, fortunately mine got in. Even more fortunately, the Jefferson Unitarian Church of Golden, CO remained open in defiance of the weather and more than 50 people braved the storm to attend.
Every congregation in the Denver-Boulder cluster was represented, and there were representatives from most committees and other parts of congregational life from Jefferson Unitarian present. I met amazing young adults and the older adults working with them, and was floored by both their knowledge and their excitement to learn what they didn't yet know. Everyone seemed to buzz with energy – in the end I think it would have taken much more than a terrible snow-storm to slow these commited people down!
The conference was rich with workshop topics on Immigration, Worship, Small Group Ministry, Campus Ministry, Technology, Models of successful YA groups, Justice General Assembly, Bridging and Young Adult Our Whole Lives (OWL, sexuality education program). Needless to say, the workshop covered a lot of ground, and there were offerings for everyone. I gained new ideas and successful models, and was inspired by the amazing individuals I met.
I came from the Congregations and Beyond consultation, where we were envisioning what it will look like and what needs to happen to become a religious movement instead of an association of congregations. I left the Young Adult Ministry Conference at Jefferson Unitarian Church having seen all of the out-of-the-box work being done and getting started in Denver and Colorado, and knowing that young adult ministry will be a leader in this newly envisioned religious movement.